UK Contractors: Record number of over 50s becoming self-employed
Contractors might be interested to learn that more people than ever before are starting a business beyond the age of 50.
The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK 2013 Report revealed that these findings are a complete reversal of historically low entrepreneurial activity in this age bracket.
It was also found that the UK outperformed European comparison countries such as France and Germany on almost all entrepreneurship indicators in 2013.
The UK Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, led by Professor Mark Hart of Aston Business School and Professor Jonathan Levie of the University of Strathclyde, measures and compares activity, attitudes and aspirations throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as France, Germany and the US.
According to the research, the surge in the number of older entrepreneurs reflects a new trend in the UK’s changing economy.
From 2002 to 2008, entrepreneurial activity among the over 50s has had a long-run average of just four per cent – much lower than those in the 18-29 and 30-49 age brackets.
However, from 2008, the rate for over 50s has shown a marked increase – reaching its highest ever level of 6.5 per cent in 2013 and going against figures for the younger age brackets, which show a peak in 2012, followed by a decline 12 months later.
Professor Hart commented on the report, “The shake-up from the recession has provided the impetus for people over 50 to say that it’s time to do something that they’ve always wanted to do and to take an opportunistic approach to creating their own business.
“These are not people who are past retirement, but individuals with years of productive activity in front of them, and their move into the ranks of entrepreneurs opens an interesting new aspect within the UK’s business culture, both socially and economically.
“However, while the majority of businesses started by the over 50s are driven by opportunity, there is an element of necessity behind this increase in new start-ups.
“That can point to an element of age discrimination, as people in this age group struggle to get into the job market and are forced into launching their own businesses to get back to work.”
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